Social media marketing, content marketing, and any sort of online marketing in general.  What do all of these things have in common? Anyone can do them, right? Well, in theory yes.  In reality, not so much.  The problem is that people jump headfirst into marketing online for their businesses and fall into the trap of some common and unfortunate misconceptions. 

What are these misconceptions and how can you avoid them?

Misconception 1: It’s necessary to be on all the platforms.

This could not be further from the truth.  While it’s important to be on some key social media platforms, it’s not necessary to be on every social media platform you can get your hands on.  Which brings us to our next misconception…

Misconception 2: One size fits all. 

No two businesses are the same, and no two marketing approaches should be the same either.  The social media presence of a restaurant is not going to be the same as the social media presence of a web developer.  You have to know your business and know the benefits of each social media platform to understand where your business should be featured and interacting with the online world.

Misconception 3: No planning is necessary.

If your marketing approach is to “create a Facebook page”, then you haven’t planned far enough into the future.  You have to assess your business’ audience, educate yourself on the audience and advertising capabilities of each potential social network, and plan accordingly.  Maybe you will thrive on Twitter and hear crickets on Pinterest.  That’s okay.  The point is to go in with a plan.  What are your goals? What do you hope to attain from your online storefronts?

Misconception 4: Not claiming online listings is acceptable.

Maybe you have a Google Local page that you haven’t claimed or an account with Yelp reviews that you don’t manage.  How are you supposed to supervise your online persona, storefronts, and outlets if you don’t have control of those pages?  What if someone is searching for information on your company and the pages that they find are displaying inaccurate information or are filled with negative reviews that you’ve never had the opportunity to address? Is that the impression that you want your online customers to have?

Misconception 5: Once you create and update your sites –posting content isn’t necessary.

People are on the internet to interact.  The first reason someone is stopping by your page is for information and the second reason is for interaction.  If you want your customers to trust that the information that you’re presenting them is accurate, relevant, and up-to-date, then you have to be consistent and present on your online platforms. 

If you’re not in the position to fully take control of your online marketing, then you should really consider outsourcing to consultants (like us) who have the time, resources, and experience to take your online presence in the right direction.  If you are going to manage your online marketing on your own, be sure that you aren’t guilty of these same misconceptions of many who have come before you.

What are some of the biggest mistakes that you see people making when managing their social media marketing, content marketing, or general online presence?  Which misconceptions surprised you? What would be a deal breaker for you when checking out a company online? Comment below!